By Dan King - Newcastle United Club Reporter
Alan Pardew admitted that his side lacked a cutting edge and missed Ivorian "warrior" Cheick Tiote's presence in midfield as they lost at home to West Ham on Sunday.
Newcastle could have climbed to sixth in the Barclays Premier League table with a victory against Sam Allardyce's side but Kevin Nolan's goal proved decisive against his former club.
The Magpies forced Jussi Jaaskelainen into several saves in the second half but the Hammers looked more and more comfortable as the game went on as they coped with United's pressure.
It was Newcastle's second home defeat of the campaign and they didn't score in either, a fact that Pardew was only too aware of when he spoke to nufcTV afterwards.
"If you don't score at home then you're asking for trouble," he said.
"We threatened the goal and had eight or nine shots but nothing with any real purpose or quality; one good effort from Yohan (Cabaye) that they blocked away but no, I'm disappointed.
"We should have played better and certainly we missed an opportunity in the first 20 minutes. We wasted 20 minutes, we couldn't get going. We knew they were going to play a fragmented game and put balls in our box but it was costly today for us, that period.
"They got a goal and then really we were huffing and puffing and just couldn't produce that moment."
The match came three days after Thursday night's Europa League draw at Club Brugge and while Pardew refused to blame United's busy schedule for the defeat, he felt that injuries and suspensions cost his side.
"There were no excuses from the Europa League this week," Pardew said. "We had a fresh team - but we did have a lot of problems on the pitch.
"Yohan Cabaye was limping around, Demba (Ba) was struggling with his shin a little bit, Papiss came off with a bad back so we had a few things going on.
"We obviously lost Jonas and we couldn't get any rhythm again and that's what we're searching for.
"That's the sort of game where you need Tiote - you need your warrior out there. They had a bit too much time in midfield today and I think Cheick would have sorted that out, so it'll be nice to see him back next week."